Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Coinage in Roman Egypt

The Hoard Evidence

A part of the subject area

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208 pages ill.
ISBN 87 7288 964 0



More about the book

About the book

Durable and iconic, coins are some of the most revealing everyday objects left to us from the ancient world. For the most part, however, they have been considered the special domain of numismatists, who typically seek to assemble as many varieties as possible. But in focusing on the rarities that form a collection's highlights, numismatists slight contextual clues to economic history and the daily use of coins as money.

In this volume, Erik Christiansen uses Alexandrian coin hoards - meaning finds of at least two coins buried together - to explore the use of money in Egypt from its conquest by Augustus in 30 BC to Diocletian's currency reform in AD 296.

Although these finds, with their wide array of Graeco-Roman and Alexandrian reverses, have traditionally been classified as a part of Greek coinage, he demonstrates clearly that they belong to the Roman imperial coinage. The hoards also show that Roman Egypt enjoyed a widespread monetized economy, in addition to the credit system described in extant papyri. The relative abundance of such documents provides Christiansen with a good supplemental source of information for his conclusions. And since financial administration probably was quite uniform throughout the Empire, this book provides a useful window not only on Rome's shifting economic fortunes, but also on monetary policy in other parts of the Empire that did not leave behind the same rich heritage of coins and documents as Egypt.

Press reviews

Bo Dahl Hermansen, Papyrus

"Det lykkedes f.eks. efter anmelderens mening forfatteren at tegne et nuanceret billede af skiftende kejseres motiver for at udstede nye mønter i Egypten."

"[...] et vægtigt indlæg i forskningsdiskussionen omkring romerrigets, og dermed oldtidens, økonomiske historie."

Andrew Burnett, The Numismatic Chronicle 

"The strength of the book is that it draws much of [Erik] Christiansen's, and indeed others', scholarships together in one place [...]"

Dr. Ernst Gölitzer, Geldgeschichtliche Nachrichten

"Dass Christiansen zum angelsächsischen Sprach- und Forschungsbereich gehört, wirkt sich positiv af das Werk durch Unbefangenheit und anekdotische Auflockerung dess Stoffes aus. Das Buch ist typographisch ansprechend gestaltet, studienfreundlich af dickem Papier gedruckt und wirkungsvoll illustriert."

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